Pretended feminism

IRENE LUCENA

BRAND STRATEGIST

Pretended feminism

“A company isn’t honest
just by saying it. In the
same way, a brand
is not feminist just
by saying it. In the end,
a brand is a series of
decisions that reinforce
the positioning
till demonstrating
the purpose.”

Feminist branding isn’t about placing a quote on a t-shirt. Or adding a hashtag in your Instagram publication. Nor is tweeting on 8 March. Not even launching a girl power campaign.

Lately, capitalist system is “feminist” because it sells. Consumer goods sector is aware of social demands and, if they have done their homework, they will have noticed the raising of the feminist brand. That is why lots of them have joined the cause. All of them want to be on the right side.

This “feminist” trend in brand management, in many cases, is a self-conviction of the  company contribution to the movement in an environment where women are systematically discriminated. There is no point in launching a campaign against discrimination in wages in the Superbowl if Audi didn’t have any women in the management positions at that time.

At this point, we would dare to say that it is no longer differential or revolutionary to make feminist campaigns (at least in the Western World). We are saturated with the same messages all the time. Feminism should be a basic for every company. It should be so integrated that there was no need to communicate it, that it impregnated each company action.

It’s the same as ever. A company isn’t honest just by saying it. In the same way, a brand is not feminist just by saying it. In the end, a brand is a series of decisions that reinforce the positioning till demonstrating the purpose. Everything must emit the brand identity, from packaging to team management.

Consumption is also a weapon for the feminist struggle. As C. Tangana said in the debate with Yung Beef at Primavera Soung 2018: “Changing things is facing the problem directly with the same weapons that the problem proposes”. In terms of feminist struggle, consumption is an area that we can’t simply ignore. Buying X product contributes to perpetuate, promote or change an ideology or behavior.

Brands generate stories that are socially shared and help to construct reality. That is, brands contribute to create an image of women and the feminist movement. The problem is in brands that take advantage of the opportunity and only provide empty messages to the cause. Then, there are those that make the difference. Because there aren’t many that show a real image of women.

An example of this is Carlota Guerrero, a Barcelona photographer who has worked on major projects for Oysho, Vogue, Givenchy or Dior, among others. She creates images that celebrate female bodies and diversity. She doesn’t show guilt, nor crying or rivalry. She venerates women as they are, creating spaces of solidarity.

Carlota’s contribution is interesting because she humanizes women. She shows real people without myths and stereotypes. And the result is brilliant.

Another example is the Catalan fashion brand Paloma Wool. Woman is the center and ultimate purpose of the project. The brand aim is to defend the natural condition of women. That is why models, garments and communication are focused on transmitting a natural image of women. A safe environment to be yourself. Their models don’t wax and show their stretch marks naturally. Because self-acceptance is the ultimate expression of beauty.

In essence, feminist branding is a matter of company culture. You breathe it and feel it. It doesn’t consist in putting a big neon sign with the word “feminist”, but in making decisions that opt for equality and women empowerment. We want non-pretended feminist brands.

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“In terms of feminist struggle,
consumption is an area that
we can’t simply ignore.
Buying X product contributes
to perpetuate, promote
or change an ideology
or behavior.”

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